L.A. Clippers At Utah
When: 9:00 PM
ET, Friday, March 14, 2014
Where: EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah
The Los Angeles Clippers will try to extend their winning streak to a season-long 10 games when they take the road to face the struggling Utah Jazz on Friday night. The streak is the third-longest in club history and more than halfway to the franchise-record of 17 straight wins set last season, the last of which came against the Jazz on Dec 30, 2012. L.A. won all four games against Utah last year and the first two this season, most recently a 102-87 win at Staples Center in Feb. 1.
The Clippers are still dealing with a few injuries, which makes their recent run of success even more impressive. Jamal Crawford — who scored a team-high 27 points in the last game against the Jazz — will likely miss his third straight game and sixth in the past seven with a left calf strain, J.J. Redick is still dealing with a bulging disc in his lower back, Jared Dudley is working his way into the rotation after missing three games with back spasms and now starting point guard Chris Paul is battling a sore groin that left him hobbling a couple times during Wednesday’s win against the visiting Warriors. The Jazz are coming off their seventh loss in the last eight games, a 108-101 defeat at the hands of the visiting Mavericks on Wednesday night.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, Prime Ticket (Los Angeles), Root Sports (Utah).
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (46-20): The Clippers have made some wise transactions during the second half of the season to bolster their depth come playoff time, and the best addition is looking like Danny Granger, who averaged better than 18 points for five straight seasons for the Indiana Pacers before he was slowed by injuries. Granger was traded from the Pacers to the Philadelphia 76ers at the trade deadline last month and was quickly bought out by Philadelphia, opening the door for the Clippers to scoop him up. Granger made his first six shots Wednesday against Golden State before eventually finishing with 18 points on 7-for-11 shooting, his highest-scoring game in nearly two years.
ABOUT THE JAZZ (22-43): Trey Burke is coming off back-to-back games of at least 20 points for the first time in his rookie season. He likely won’t guard Paul on the defensive end of the floor but look for Burke to use his quickness on the offensive end, especially if Paul still seems a bit gimpy. Another matchup Utah might choose to exploit is posting up 6-8 shooting guard Gordon Hayward on 6-foot Darren Collison of the Clippers, who has been forced into a starting role due to the injuries to Crawford and Redick.
1. Clippers forward Blake Griffin recently joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Charles Barkley as the the only players to amass 6,000 points, 3,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists while shooting at least 50 percent from the floor before the end of their fourth NBA seasons.
2. The Clippers are 28-11 against the Western Conference this season, which was tied with the Thunder for most the most victories against the West heading into Thursday.
3. Hayward has scored at least 20 points three times in seven games this month after failing to hit that mark in all 12 games in February.
PREDICTION: Clippers 122, Jazz 105
Stats and Records
Utah Off vs
L.A. Clippers Def
94.9 Points For
100.7 Points Against